... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Friday, March 18, 2011

238: Anish Kapoor flashback (and Mary Kelly postpartum)

Speaking of art, I remembered to go and see the Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery, Flashback (from the Arts Council collection).  I was warned on the way in not to cross the lines, and advised that I would find it hard to resist, but still I should resist.  And resist I did.  Had I stepped over any of the lines, I would surely have been jumped by one or all of the myriad bored guards.  First I encountered a large bit of wood, bisected by a steel disc and smeared in red wax.  Indeed I did want to cross the line and jab my finger into the wax.  I don’t see that this would have caused much of a problem for anyone.

White Sand, Red Millet, Many Flowers - 1982
There was a few of Kapoor’s brightly coloured piles of powdered dye, that look like piles of spice from Asian, Arabian or North African markets.  One of them was like a barbed tongue piercing out of the wall, and was surrounded by some pointless little blobs of sculpture.  Then came another big waxy wood/metal thing; this time resting on the floor and standing over six feet tall.  A monolith proudly displays a mysterious black rectangle which appears to be both flat and a gaping void.  It’s true nature I couldn’t comprehend; like looking into the cold dead eyes of God.

Then there was big meaning big plates on the wall.  Metal domes towering twenty feet high, and lovely, shiny polished.  Also a hole in the wall, but silver.  It had a bendy reflection.  I like it.  I wanted to stick my head in it, but the line on the floor prevented me from going in.  Stupid art and the precious, pretentious, preposterous way it is coddled.  As MC Paul Barman said, “as if the oil on my skin could mess up an outdoor steel statue” (Vulture Shark Sculpture Park, Paullelujah!).

When I am Pregnant - 1992
Best in show is When I am Pregnant, which is essentially and entirely a white bump on the wall which seamlessly blends in with the gallery building.  Seen from the side it is clearly a bump, but when looked at directly head on it is impossible to properly focus on.  The eyes twist and cross, and the brain struggles to make use of the confused input it is receiving.

Time for Kevin to make the effort to see all the other great exhibitions Manchester has to offer, from the Salford Zine Library all the way up to Mary Kelly (and her forty year old shitty nappies) at the Whitworth, stopping off at ... all the other places on the way.  I need a bit more education as to the local art scene.  Definitely time to get started.  Let’s have some recommendations please.

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